Your “prayers not answered” means your “expectations not fulfilled.” The TAO wisdom explains why: your attachments to careers, money, relationships, and success “make” but also “break” you by creating your flawed ego-self that demands your “expectations to be fulfilled.”

Friday, December 13, 2019

Why Prayers Are Seldom Answered


Asking Questions About Prayers Not Answered

There’s an old proverb that says: “He who cannot ask cannot live.” Life is all about asking questions, and seeking answers from all the questions asked.

Albert Einstein once said: “Thinking is difficult; that’s why so few people do it.”

Thinking is a process of self-intuition through asking relevant questions to create self-awareness and self-reflection. It’s the natural habit of the human mind to try to solve all problems by asking questions. Through the process of solving problems, the human mind may then make things happen.

So, asking all relevant questions is self-empowerment of the human mind to increase wisdom because it initiates the intent to learn, to discover, and then to change for the better.

Here are some of the questions you may want to ask yourself concerning why your prayers are seldom answered, or not answered at all:

What’s a prayer?

Jesus said: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7) Is a prayer just your way of asking for something that you want or desire?

Is it your personal request to the Creator to make something happen or not happen in your life?

Is it your conversation or a means of communication with the Creator to further develop your relationship with Him?

Is it your way of seeking advice from the Creator to help you deal with your own life’s problems and challenges?

Is it your asking the Creator for His blessings that you think you may be entitled to?

Or is it none of the above?

How often is a prayer said or offered?

Before getting up, and before going to bed?

Several times throughout the day, such as before your meals?

While attending a religious service?

Seldom, if ever, unless expressing with your condolences to someone you’re feeling sorry for?

What’s spirituality?

For a believer, spirituality is the inexplicable communication and the subtle relationship with God.

For a non-believer, spirituality is the invisible connection to a Higher Being, who seems to have inexplicable control over certain things in life, such as life and death.

Even for those without a specific religion, they may still have a soul or spirit, because their spirituality is their own conscience that intuitively tells them what’s right and wrong, and not just following the laws and orders of their country. 

In many ways, spirituality is like a shadow that follows us: sometimes we see more of it, and sometimes we see less of it; but it’s always there, forever following us wherever we go, whether we like it or not. Spirituality is always present whenever we focus less on ourselves and more on others.

Does God exist?

Many do believe that God exists—but His existence is no more than the existence of the sun, the moon, and the planets.

Few believe that God plays a pivotal role in their daily lives.

Even fewer believe that they can somehow communicate with God in their daily prayers.


Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Mind Wellness Wisdom


The mind plays a pivotal role in wellness wisdom of the body, the mind, and the soul; as a matter of fact, it balances and connects the body and soul. To enhance you mind wellness wisdom, you need a reverse mindset.

What is reverse mindset? And why is it essential to human wisdom?

Lao Tzu, the author of Tao Te Ching, an ancient Chinese classic on human wisdom, advocated reverse mindset for human wisdom. His wisdom was profound, and his Tao Te Ching has become one of the most translated and extensively read books in world literature.

Descartes, the great philosopher, once said: "I think, therefore I am." Indeed, human wisdom comes from the mind—that is, how we think, because our thoughts determine who we are and what we do. Wisdom has to do with mental perceptions of what we experience, as well as with our interpretations of those perceptions.

But our thoughts may deceive us; that is, they may mislead us and do not tell us the absolute truths. Therefore, true human wisdom is the capability to separate the truths from the half-truths or the myths. To see through the deception or illusion created by our minds, we need wisdom or clarity of mind. According to Lao Tzu:

"We need a still and composed mind
to see things with greater clarity.
Because trouble begins in the mind."

Lance Armstrong, the dishonored athlete, is a classic example of having the wrong mindset of success is due to effort. Armstrong , as an aspiring athlete, created an ego-self that craved for satisfaction. To meet his own expectations as well as those of others, including his coach, he manipulated the doping program in order to excel and surpass others. He got what he wanted through "over-doing" but with an ultimate price -- losing everything, including what he thought he had gained. Armstrong's mindset is a conventional one for success: "over-doing" or "do more and get more" Mind wellness wisdom is to reverse that mindset.

The unconventional wisdom, according to Lao Tzu, is to have no separate-self. With no ego, you have no expectations; you do what you need to do, without undue efforts, you live in the present, enjoying every moment of it while you wait patiently for things to turn out naturally or the way they are supposed to. Without over-doing, everything will settle into its perfect place. That is the wisdom of "under-doing" -- or mind wellness wisdom mindset.

For more information, visit my website: Wisdom in Living.

Stephen Lau 
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The Importance of Muscles

The Importance of Muscles

Your muscles not only keep you in shape but also maintain your health and wellness, in particular your body weight. Your muscles are essential for life. Muscle protein is dynamic when it is converted into amino acids. It repairs your body cells and tissues. It helps fight infections. It carries oxygen (in the form of hemoglobin) to your cells. It transports calcium and iron in your blood. It controls your weight (your muscles burn calories while you sleep—one pound of muscle burns 30 to 40 calories a day).

More muscle means less fat. More muscle means less inflammation (excess fat producing more cytokines, responsible for artery, joint, and tissue inflammation). More inflammation means more plague in arteries (greater risk of heart attack and strokes, as well as memory loss). More muscle means more body strength, greater mobility, and less risk of developing diabetes later in life.

Your muscle is important. Use it or lose it!

A study on master athletes at the University of California indicated that muscle mass has little to do with age. In other words, you could still have the same amount of muscle mass as someone who is 10 to 20 years younger than you are. Muscle mass is anti-aging. Do weight training or workout without weights to preserve your muscle mass and keep you in shape to look forever younger.

Women, in particular, benefit more from weight training, because they have less muscle mass than men have, and adding more muscles means burning more calories.

Loss of muscle mass

As you age, you muscle protein dwindles. An average person loses half a pound of muscle and gains a pound of fat a year. Between 30 and 60, you may expect to lose 15 pounds of muscle and gain 30 pounds of fat (if not more). That will put you not only out of shape, but also in health hazards.

Loss of muscle mass may be due to the following:

Increase in cortisol (a hormone for regulating your blood sugar, blood pressure, immune function, and inflammatory response), which breaks down muscle mass

Decrease in growth hormone (stimulating growth and cell reproduction) and testosterone (male and female hormone)
Increase in fat (more fat, more inflammation, and less muscle mass—a vicious cycle).

To prevent loss of muscle mass, continue to build your muscles even as you age. The human body is perfectly capable of getting the exercise it needs with very little extra equipment. For instance, even a simple towel can be used as one of the most effective and versatile fitness accessories for strength and flexibility training to enhance your muscle mass.

Important muscle groups to target

As you age, weight training should specifically target the following muscle groups for prolonged independence and continuous mobility:

Back, knee, pelvic floor. (important for your sexual function, bowel and urinary control)

Shoulder joint and shoulder rotator cuff to stabilize shoulder movements

Remember, exercise, not medications, is the single most effective choice against heart disease. Exercise and muscle mass keep you younger for longer.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau




Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Can TAO Help Your Depression?


Can TAO help your depression?

TAO is neither a religion nor a philosophy.

TAO is simply a way of life about the Way of life, that is, a general way of thinking about everything in life. It is a pathless path of humanity to live as if everything is a miracle.

TAO is the Way through anything and everything in life in order to fully experience them and live in balance and harmony. TAO is not about avoiding or getting out of anything unhappy and undesirable in everyday life, such as depression; rather, it is about going through depression by experiencing every aspect of it in order to become enlightened, if possible, with the profound human wisdom to continue living in peace and harmony in a world of depression.

TAO is looking at life not as a series of both happy and unhappy episodes, but simply as a journey of self-discovery and self-awakening to the real meaning of life existence. You are defined not by your words and thoughts, but by the ways you act and react, as well as the impact you may have on others around you. You exist not because you are simply here; you are here in this world to love and to learn how to live, as well as to help one another do the same.

TAO is formless, shapeless, and inexplicable in words; after all, it had existed long before there were even words. TAO is infinite human wisdom, which is a pathless path to the infinity and the origin of all things.

TAO is not about making your life any easier; it is about acceptance of all aspects of your humanity that need to be fully experienced, embraced, and then to be let go of in order to become wholesome at other times of your life and living—that is the essence of TAO wisdom, which is true enlightenment of the human mind.

Living in a world of depression, you might want every-thing your way or no way. But TAO is the Way through your depression, enabling you to understand how and why you might have your depression in the first place.


Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Monday, December 9, 2019

The Wisdom of Spontaneity

CONTROL AND OVER-DOING

Controlling external events is futility because control is but an illusion based on expected results projected by the thinking mind into the future. Concentration on controlling makes it difficult to concentrate on doing the right things to make you live longer.

The TAO, which is the wisdom of Lao Tzu, the ancient sage from China, looks upon the world as something to be accepted, and that involves invoking the profound but paradoxical wisdom of “action through inaction”—which is action based on acceptance of nature or the natural turn of events in life.

“Whenever we try to control,
we separate ourselves from our true nature.
Man proposes; the Creator disposes.
Life is sacred: it flows exactly as it should.
Trusting in the Creator, we return to our breathing,
natural and spontaneous, without conscious control.

In the same manner:
sometimes we have more,
sometimes we have less;
sometimes we exert ourselves,
sometimes we pull back;
sometimes we succeed,
sometimes we fail.

Trusting in the Creator, we see the comings and goings of things,
but without straining and striving to control them.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 29)

According to the TAO, everything in life must follow a natural cycle, whether we like it or not, and that we must be patient because nothing is within our control, especially our destinies.

”That which shrinks
must first expand.
That which fails,
must first be strong.
That which is cast down
must first be raised.
Before receiving, there must be giving.
This is called perception of the nature of things.
Soft and weak overcome hard and strong.
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 36)

Spontaneity is the essence of the natural cycle. What goes up must eventually come down; life begets death; day is followed by night—just like the cycle of the four seasons.

"Allowing things to come and go,
following their natural laws,
we gain everything.
Straining and striving,
we lose everything."
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 48)

Intuition of spontaneity is an understanding of the impermanence of all things: nothing lasts no matter how we strive to keep the impermanent permanent, and everything remains only with that very present moment.

"Strong winds come and go.
So do torrential rains.
Even heaven and earth cannot make them last forever."
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te  Ching, chapter 23)

The bottom line: do what needs to be done, but without over-doing, which causes stress in everyday life and living.



Stephen Lau                             
Copyright© by Stephen Lau



Sunday, December 8, 2019

Live Like Santa Claus


Your Golden Years and Santa Claus explains the wisdom of living in the present, the wisdom of letting go, and the wisdom of not picking and choosing -- they are the essentials for happy and successful aging in the golden years. Learn how to think and act like Santa Claus in your golden years.

Your future is always unknown and unknowable, but it is your readiness to get new information and to use your new experience to reassess your current situation that provides a light at the end of the tunnel.

Wake up from your nightmare and live a life that you rightly deserve in your golden years.

Growing older sucks. The alternative is to die younger.

So, make the best and the most of your remaining years; turn them into the golden years of your life in spite of any frailty and adversity you may be facing. Remember, life is a task-master: it teaches you not only how to survive in any challenging circumstance but also how to live as if everything is a miracle, especially in your golden years.


Use Santa Claus as your role model to start believing in yourself, developing the right mindset of successful aging, and acting appropriately and positively. Santa Claus may not be a magic-bullet solution to all your life problems and challenges, but he certainly may open unexpected doors for you in your golden years.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Human Nature According to Chinese Wisdom


Human Nature According to Chinese Wisdom

Is human nature basically good or bad? This is one of the most controversial questions that does not have a definitive answer.

From the Biblical point of view, man was originally good, but because of the original sin of Adam and Eve, man becomes evil or sinful. There are those who believe that man is created in God's image to serve Him; if that is truly the case, man is still inherently good. There are, on the other hand, those who believe that man is inherently bad.

Well, what is the Chinese concept of human nature?

According to Hsun Tzu (荀子), a Confucian Chinese philosopher who lived approximately between 310-219 B.C., the nature of man is evil, and his goodness is the result of his right actions and activities. Hsun Tzu’s explanation was that man’s innate nature is to seek gain, which is often followed by strife and rapacity that may annihilate his deference and compliance; man’s envy and hatred of others may obliterate his loyalty and faithfulness; and man’s desire to gratify his five senses may engender his own lewdness and licentiousness. This is how man may have become bad and even evil.

Essentially, good and evil are only moral concepts that have coexisted since the beginning of time; humans have been categorizing different actions and feelings based on their own philosophical concepts. Good and evil are closely linked together, just like the concept of yin and yang; one cannot exist without the other, and they balance and complement each other.

According to Mencius, another ancient sage from China, “Evil exists to glorify the good. Evil is negative good. It is a relative term. Evil can be transmuted into good. What is evil to one at one time becomes good at another time to somebody else.”

Undeniably, we all have the bright as well as the dark side of life. The Bible calls the dark side of human nature “sin.” None of us is exempt from sin. Life is always an inner struggle between what is perceived in an individual’s moral system as “right” and the dark opposing force inside to do just the opposite as “wrong.” To make matters worse, most of us are really quite good at our self-deception: either we deceive ourselves into thinking that the dark opposing force does not exist in ourselves, or we simply inflate our own personal virtues to overshadow the dark force within us.

No matter whether human nature is inherently good or bad, how you view the nature of humans is important because it shapes the way you look at life, and, more importantly, how you live your own life.

No matter whether we were born “good” or “bad”,  we all have enough “goodness” within us to change ourselves to become “better.”

Be A Better andHappier You With Tao Wisdom: This book is about using human wisdom to become wiser and happier. It also includes the translation and the complete text of Tao Te Ching an ancient Chinese classic by the famous sage, Lao Tzu, on human wisdom.

The Happiness Wisdom: This book helps you create your own happiness recipe based on ancient wisdom, contemporary wisdom, and spiritual wisdom. Your recipe has to be yours, and only you can create it, because it’s you who will be going on your life journey.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau